A beach landscape at sunset with wind turbines - Our climate commitment

Our climate commitment

Our role 

Helping society to decarbonise is the biggest contribution we can make to the environment. This means facilitating the connection of low carbon, renewable energy sources across the UK and US, and achieving the technical capability of operating a zero-carbon electricity system. However, our own carbon footprint is also significant. We must consider our direct impact, from the harmful emissions we emit ourselves to the indirect impact of our supply chain emissions. 

Our contribution 

In Our Contribution, we set ourselves a target to reduce our emissions by 80% by 2050, and 45% by 2020, from a 1990 baseline. We have far exceeded our 2020 target, reducing our emissions by 70% already.  

This has been achieved through a range of initiatives across the UK and US business, backed up by specific internal targets. We have applied carbon pricing to our investment decisions and reduced the carbon intensity from our construction schemes. Other emission reduction activities include programmes to replace leaking gas pipes, modernising the electricity transmission infrastructure to reduce energy losses, and increasing the energy efficiency of the consumer energy use in the US. 

Next steps and our Responsible Business Charter 

We are proud of what we have achieved to date, but there is much more we can do. We believe we have a responsibility to lead the way and help drive emissions down across the energy sector. That is why, after reviewing our emissions targets, we have decided to further our commitments and ambitions in our Responsible Business Charter, with a target to achieve net zero by 2050, alongside interim targets of reducing our footprint by 80% by 2030 and 90% by 2040, from a 1990 baseline. 

In the UK, our Electricity Transmission business has set a target to achieve carbon neutral construction by 2026 on all projects, whilst Gas Transmission are applying this to all major projects. The Electricity System Operator has also committed to be able to fully operate Great Britain’s electricity system with zero carbon by 2025. 

In the US, all our major projects utilise carbon pricing in the evaluation of alternative options. In 2021 we will be developing a baseline carbon intensity for such projects, with the aim of setting reduction targets beginning in 2022. See our Responsible Business Charter for the commitments that will help us achieve net zero. 

This will require some big engineering and strategic changes. We have set a number of global emissions targets to address some key areas, including insulating gases (SF6), our operational fleet, office energy use, business air travel and emissions from the electricity and gas we sell to our customers. We will continue to implement carbon pricing on our investment decisions and continuously review our performance across the business. 

Performance

You can find more details about how we are doing in the performance - environmental sustainability section.

A beach at sunset with the sea coming in and electricity pylons dotted into the distance

Responsible resource use

Find out how we are making the most of our assets.

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A low shot of flowers shooting up from a meadow with a butterfly in the foreground and the sun setting behind

The natural environment

Discover what we are doing to create bigger and better spaces for nature.

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